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Highest Number of Births Since 1992

Embargoed until 10:45am – 20 November 2006

Highest Number of Births Since 1992

There were 59,120 live births registered in New Zealand in the September 2006 year, Statistics New Zealand said today. This is the highest number of births registered in a September year since 1992, when there were 59,510 births.

Annual birth rates for the September 2006 year indicate that New Zealand women average 2.1 births per woman. Although this represents a slight increase on recent years, the rate has been relatively stable at around 2.0 births per woman over the last 20 years. New Zealand's fertility rate is higher than many other developed countries. In 2005, total fertility rates of 1.8 births per woman were recorded by Australia, Denmark, England and Wales, Norway and Sweden, while France reported 1.9 births per woman. In 2004, the most recent available year, the United States had a total fertility rate of 2.1 births per woman.

The median age of women giving birth to their first child was 28 years in the September 2006 year. The median age of all women giving birth was 30 years, compared with 29 years in 1996 and 25 years in 1976.

There were 28,180 deaths registered in the September 2006 year, compared with 27,730 in the September 2005 year. Over three-quarters (78 percent) of the deceased were aged 65 years and over, while 5 percent were aged under 40 years.

New Zealand's infant mortality rate was 4.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in the September 2006 year. (Infant deaths are defined as deaths under one year of age.) The figure for the September 2006 year is an improvement from 7.1 per 1,000 live births in the September 1996 year.

Natural increase (the excess of births over deaths) was 30,930 in the September 2006 year, accounting for about 70 percent of New Zealand's population growth.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician


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